September 24, 2016

Three States File Lawsuits Against 5-Hour Energy Maker

Three states: Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, have filed lawsuits against the makers of 5-Hour Energy, a drink that is loaded with caffeine, for deceptive marketing. That product has been linked to 22 deaths reported to the government since 2004. The defendants are Living Essentials and Innovation Ventures. The Oregon complaint alleges that the companies "repeatedly violated the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) by making deceptive and misleading claims about the 5-hour Energy products." The company used print, television, internet, and radio advertising to claim that the product has a "unique combination of ingredients" that provided consumers with "energy, alertness and focus", when the only active ingredient was a concentrated dose of caffeine. Vitamins, enzymes, and amino … [Read more...]

CSPI Finds More Deaths Caused by Energy Drinks

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has obtained documents from the FDA and has found 17 previously unreported deaths linked to energy drinks. Since 2004, 34 deaths have now been linked to those products. Of those, 22 are linked to 5-Hour Energy, 11 to Monster, and one to Rockstar. In addition to those deaths, 56 previously undisclosed injuries were reported to the government through the FDA's adverse event reporting system. Those injuries included high blood pressure, convulsions, and heart attacks. Dr. Stacy Fisher, director of complex heart diseases at University of Maryland School of Medicine told CSPI, "as I see in my medical practice, energy drinks are clearly causing symptomatic arrhythmias. These new reports of deaths and other injuries raise the level of … [Read more...]

Buyer Beware: Supplements, Energy Drinks Don’t Need FDA Approval

Do you know what’s in that dietary or sports supplement you’re taking? Is that energy drink you bought at the checkout counter safe? Maybe not. Energy drinks and supplements, including those marketed as diet or sports aids, fall into the “food” category of products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Food producers aren’t required to provide the FDA with evidence of a product’s safety before selling it. And while food labels are supposed to accurately reflect ingredients and make no false claims about health benefits, some supplement makers skirt these rules causing dire health problems for the unsuspecting consumers who take them. Dietary supplements have been linked to cases of liver damage and death. In fact, a recent study by the Drug-Induced Liver Injury … [Read more...]

Oregon Wants Data from 5-Hour Energy Drink Manufacturers

The Oregon Department of Justice is demanding that the manufacturers of 5-Hour Energy drinks give them data supporting the company's advertising claims, according to the Oregonian. That beverage is the subject of an investigation by the FDA, and is facing lawsuits by 33 attorneys general into their marketing campaign. The brand owner, Living Essentials LLC, tried to block access to the data last year as part of the lawsuit. The ads claim that there will be "no crash" after consumers drink the beverage, that it is doctor recommended, and that the product is suitable for teenagers. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed papers with the court last week, trying to force the company to give the court the documents. The FDA has said there have been 92 reports of adverse reactions, 11 … [Read more...]

FDA Defining Boundaries for Caffeine in Consumer Products

The FDA's Michael Taylor has released an article in FDA Voice discussing the limits officials are considering putting on caffeine in consumer products. While many products contain caffeine, some naturally and some added, some products, particularly energy drinks, have come under fire in recent years for having too much of the stimulant. Companies are adding caffeine to everything from gum to waffles, which can all add up to an alarmingly high daily total. It is very easy to consume more caffeine than is safe in today's marketplace. Monster Energy Drink was sued last year for allegedly causing a child's death. Earlier this year, Center for Science in the Public Interest warned consumers about web ads for Five Hour Energy, which is being investigating for allegedly being involved in the … [Read more...]

Drug Abuse Warning Network Warns About Energy Drinks

A new report called an update on Emergency Department Visits Involving Energy Drinks questions the safety of those products. It is pubished in The DAWN (Drug Abuse Warning Network) for January 10, 2013. The report states that emergency room visits related to energy drink use doubled from 10068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011. Forty-two percent of the patients treated in 2011 said they consumed a combination of energy drinks and either alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. That means 58% of the visits were linked to energy drink consumption alone. Last october, Monster Beverages was sued by the family of a 14 year old Maryland girl who died after developing a heart arrhythmia. She drank cans of Monster Energy that is very high in caffeine. The FDA is investigating claims … [Read more...]

Most Caffeinated Dietary Supplements are Inaccurately Labeled

A study just published in the online version of JAMA Internal Medicine has found that more than half of all caffeinated dietary supplements carry inaccurate labels. Those products, such as Monster Energy Drink and 5-hour Energy, are being investigated by the FDA because they have been associated with illnesses and death. In fact, Monster Beverages was sued in October 2012 after a 14-year-old died after drinking the product. In 2011, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that energy drinks pose potentially serious health risks, leading to a sharp increase in emergency room visits between 2005 and 2009. There have been 13 adverse event reports to the FDA about 5-hour Energy. The laws regulating labeling of supplements are quite lax, allowing … [Read more...]

Web Ad for 5-hour Energy Pulled

The web ad for 5-hour Energy drink has, at least for now, stopped running a web ad criticized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Last week Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about the ad, which showed CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson saying it's difficult to die from caffeine because "Someone would really have to make an effort to consume 40 or so 200-mg caffeine tablets." CSPI says the use of that quote is deceptive, giving the false impression that Jacobson or CSPI endorsed the product. In addition, high caffeine levels in 5-hour Energy and other caffeinated drinks can cause many other health issues, including anxiety and insomnia. The product has been associated with convulsions and heart attacks. In fact, 5-hour Energy is under investigation by the FDA … [Read more...]

Senators Say FDA is Taking Energy Drink Concerns Seriously

This week, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) said they are confident that the FDA is taking their concerns about energy drinks seriously. Those products have been in the news because they have been associated with illnesses and death. In October, Monster Beverages was sued over a 14-year-old child's death. She developed a heart arrythmia after drinking cans of the product. In a statement, the Senators said, "at our meeting the FDA made it clear it is moving forward in a number of areas to protect vulnerable populations against high levels of caffeine in energy drinks. The energy drink makers are mistaken if they believe they have escaped regulatory oversight to safeguard consumer health. "We urged the FDA to convene an expert panel, as quickly as possible … [Read more...]

CSPI Warns Consumers About 5-Hour Energy Web Ads

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is warning consumers not to believe a new web ad for 5-hour Energy. The controversial drink is being investigated for its alleged role in 13 deaths. There have been reports from 92 people who became ill after using the product. The product is sold as a "nutritional supplement", so limits on caffeine that apply to soft drinks and other beverages do not apply to these beverages. Last year, trend data released by the Drug Abuse Warning Network showed a sharp increase in the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks. In 2005, there were 1,128 visits, and in 2009 there were 13,114 visits, representing a tenfold increase. About half of the visits were made by 18 to 25-year-old patients who combined the drinks with alcohol or other … [Read more...]

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